Airs Thursday, February 6 at 8 p.m. Pianist Henry Butler was born in New Orleans and has developed a sound that Dr. John refers to as the "pride of the Crescent City." As an extension of the great piano lineage that includes Jelly Roll Morton, Professor Longhair, James Booker and Tuts Washington, Mr. Butler has devised a distinct musical gumbo that blends the ingredients of jazz, blues, rags and funk with the feeling of a second line parade. In this episode, we listen to highlights from Henry Butler's solo performance at the Charles H. Morris Center during the 2010 Savannah Music Festival.
Airs Monday, January 27 at 8 p.m.Randy Weston has long nurtured a pan-African outlook in his life and music, having spent years living in Morocco and studying traditions from throughout the continent. And when you're 85, as he is, "long" means from the bebop era to the present day. He remains a distinctive and imposing piano stylist, and his African Rhythms Trio closes the Quad stage on the first day of the Newport Jazz Festival.
Airs Thursday, January 23 at 8 p.m. The piano has been an integral part of the jazz idiom since its inception. Due to its combined melodic, harmonic and rhythmic possibilities, it has been the one instrument that allowed the greatest jazz players to use their creativity to address all of these elements of musical style simultaneously. This episode of SMF Live features the first half of Piano Showdown 2010, with New Orleans powerhouse Henry Butler, the encyclopedic Dick Hyman, the virtuosic Marcus Roberts and one of the most talented players of the younger generation, 25 year-old Gerald Clayton.
Airs Monday, January 20 at 8 p.m. His bloodline alone makes him something of a prince of jazz. But his legendary father died when he was a toddler, and Ravi Coltrane blazed his own trail on the tenor saxophone; indeed, his ideas about composition and flow and tone sound most at home with his own generation of improvisers. His quartet has developed a new set of repertoire for a new album in the works. We get a good midterm progress report from the Harbor Stage at the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival.
Airs Thursday, January 16 at 8 p.m. Though his artistic pursuits are difficult to categorize stylistically, there is no doubt that mandolinist, composer, producer, educator and historian David Grisman has an insatiable appetite for music. Hist idiosyncratic artistic journey has been one of elaboration and refinement, so when he formed a trio in 2011 to explore the common musical roots of folk, country and jazz, it was a simple and logical extension of his musical activity.